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Current Genetics Selection Advisory Board Member

Richard Lifton

genetics medal

Richard Lifton is the President of The Rockefeller University. Previously he was the Chair of the Department of Genetics, Executive Director of the Yale Center for Genome Analysis, Sterling Professor of Genetics and Internal Medicine and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University School of Medicine. He graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, then received MD and PhD degrees (in Biochemistry) from Stanford University. He completed clinical training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, served as Chief Medical Resident there and continued on the faculty at Harvard Medical School before being recruited to Yale in 1993.

Professor Lifton has used human genetics and genomics to identify more than 35 human disease genes that identify key pathways underlying common diseases including hypertension, myocardial infarction, osteoporosis, cerebral hemorrhage, congenital heart disease and neoplasia. In the particular case of hypertension, which affects more than a billion people worldwide, these studies have led to new therapeutic approaches to the treatment and prevention strategies for the general population. His group recently developed a method for rapidly and inexpensively sequencing all the genes in the genome that is being widely used for disease gene discovery and clinical diagnosis.

Professor Lifton is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine. He serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and advisor to the President of Merck Pharmaceuticals and is a member of the Governing Councils of the Institute of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, and the Coalition for the Life Sciences, as well as the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Whitehead Institute at MIT, and the Gallo Foundation at the University of California, San Francisco. He has received the highest scientific awards of the American Society of Nephrology, the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, the American Society of Hypertension, the American Heart Association, the International Society of Hypertension, and the International Society of Nephrology. He received the Wiley Prize for Biomedical Sciences in 2008.